Civil Asset Forfeiture

Both too low, and too high. It is after all, civil, not criminal. I’m sure there are plenty of times you could show the money is dirty, without being able to secure a criminal conviction. Likewise, you can be convicted of a crime yet your money is perfectly ‘clean’.

Civil Forfeiture really needs it’s own process, to justify both taking and keeping someone’s assets. Unrelated to arrests or criminal charges.

Seized assets should only remain seized if they are either proven (via conviction) or admitted (via plea) to be part of the specific crime that is being prosecuted.

The bar should be very high for low-level law enforcement to be able to lay hands on your property.
(same high bar should exist further up the chain, too, of course)

5 Likes

Whatever process you wanna call it, it’ll boil down to the standard for the evidence used to justify seizing the assets. Right now, the process has too low a standard where you only need to assert that the money is more likely than not to be involved in a crime without any court testing of that assertion. Turning it over needs to switch from guilty until proven innocent to the usual standard for a conviction which is innocent until proven guilty.

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I’d say that is ok (and the purpose of the policy in the first place, to deny criminals the opportunity to hide their ill-gotten gains)…but there needs to be a pretty quick - as in, like within 48 hours or 5 days - requirement to show cause to a court for them to keep the money. And then a periodic requirement - maybe every month, or even two weeks? - to get continued authorization from the court. With a limit of how many times they can re-authorize before they need to clearly establish the forfeiture should be permanent - so even if the victim is unable to mount a defense in those hearings, the case wont linger on indefinitely (or even require defense counsel be provided).

That alone should curb the speculative forfeitures, since it’ll come with an ongoing burdon and costs to seizing the money, instead of being a free source of funding. Right now, it only is what it is because about the worst consequence of seizing assets is receving a strongly worded letter.

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This is like the 5th time you’ve done it, seems like on purpose – the word you’re looking for is “burden”.

The “o” on my keyboard identifies as an “e”. How intollerant and hateful of you. :grin:

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LMAO!!

Very 2021 of you, glitch99. You’re gonna fit right in with today’s crazies!

:rofl: